Story By: Juan Fenandez Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
This former Colombian prosecutor who helped capture Pablos Escobar’s chief hitman among 1,000 other dangerous criminals has told how the country’s hitmen would peel their victims’ skins with axes.
Former Colombian General Prosecutor Claudia Carrasquilla was let go from the General Prosecution’s office in the Colombian capital city of Bogota after Attorney General Francisco Barbosa, 46, took office on 13th February of this year.
Carrasquilla has now revealed how she “captured around 1,000 members of organised crime groups” including the notorious hitman Jhon Jairo Velazquez alias ‘Popeye’.
Vazquez was the chief hitman of the Medellin Cartel led by Pablo Escobar in the 1970s and 1980s.
He was found guilty of terrorism, drug trafficking and murder and reportedly planned the homicide of former presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan, who was shot to death in 1989, and the bombing of Avianca Flight 203 which killed 107 people in 1989.
The hitmen himself said he was directly responsible for around 300 murders and was involved in the planning of the deaths of around 3,000 people before his death in February this year.
Carrasquilla revealed grim details of some of her most violent cases in an interview with Colombian national newscast ‘Noticias Caracol’ saying: “When they dismembered bodies, they used an axe to peel the body until it was bare bone like they were animals.
“They put (the bone and flesh) inside truck tyres or of any vehicle and that stopped them from being found. I guess the rubber burned the bones and skin.”
In another case, she said: “I was very shocked when we intercepted communication, the mum of alias ‘La Diabla’ (The Devil) called her and said ‘why do you do these things?’” referring to her murders.
‘La Diabla’ answered “‘Mum, because I like to kill, I like it, what else can I do?’”
Carrasquilla is reportedly wanted dead by many members of Colombia’s most dangerous organised crime groups, however, she said: “I am not scared, I am indignant.
“Because there are more good people than bad. In Colombia, 99.9 percent of the people are good like me. We love our country and want to work honestly and push our country forward.”
When asked if she had a message to anyone that wanted to see her dead, she said: “I am right here. I am not running anywhere because my conviction as a woman, as a Colombian and as a citizen is that crime must be defeated.”
When asked about being fired, she said she felt an “abandonment from justice, that they turned their back on me.
“But I am satisfied that I worked honestly and with integrity” after 26 years working as a prosecutor.
Carrasquilla has reportedly been previously targeted by several crime bosses who collected 500 million COP (102,224 GBP) and hired a hitman to kill her.
A reformed criminal reportedly revealed to her that the bosses “had a person on the inside that” worked with her and “knew her movements”.
The hitman was allegedly killed several days before in an unrelated incident and could not carry out the hit which saved her life and that of her children, who were also reportedly targeted.
Carrasquilla still has a security detail, however, it is reducing with time. It is unclear how much longer she is entitled to it.
She now plans to “reinvent” herself and is setting up consultancies and spending more time with her children.
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